Advertisement

From the Boathouse: The truth about ropes and lines

February 13, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

The weather and sea conditions are looking very favorable for boating this weekend, with the air temperatures rising up to the low 70s on Friday and dipping slightly through the weekend to the low 60s by Sunday. However, we will have mostly sunny skies with patchy fog in the mornings.

The sea conditions are looking great for boaters to venture into the Pacific Ocean, and remember, it is whale-watching season, so keep a sharp lookout for the mammals. The swells are expected to be one to two feet from the west, with a negligible one-foot south. Not good news for rag-boaters this weekend are the very light winds that are predicted, which will create only one-foot wind waves. The water temperatures will be in the mid-50s, so bundle up with layered clothing and extra blankets.

Advertisement

On another note, it is time once again for me to respond to a couple of email questions from you readers.

The first email questions whether it is a rope or line on a boat. I hope your neck hair just rose as I mentioned ropes. Please delete "ropes" from your vocabulary and insert "lines." There are a few specific "ropes" on a boat, such as the bell rope, but for the most part, all are lines. The lines have specific names, like bow lines, stern lines and spring lines, to name a few. We do have standing or stationary rigging as well as running rigging for sailboats, plus sheet lines for adjusting the sails. If in doubt, call it a line, not a rope.

Second question: Is it a fender or a bumper? The hanging protective device, whether a flat cushion, ball or blowup tube that hangs off the side a boat for protection between the boat and dock is a fender. A bumper is a piece of rudder, plastic or similar material that is fixed or mounted on the dock or the boat's hull. So, now you know.

Tip of the week is that the seas may be flat this weekend, but we are in the middle of our storm season, so keep an eye on the weather before you leave the dock. The ocean's swell intervals are very important to monitor, especially if they are decreasing to single digits. The single-digit intervals are caused by strong winds that can kick up in the afternoons. The short intervals mean that the swell faces will steepen, which will cause your boat to fall off the peaks and pound into the troughs. Also, let's not forget that on top of the swell heights, you have to add in wind waves from the strong gusts that will be spraying water over your bow.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|